An exploratory evaluation of a multi-support peer mentorship program for advocacy
Moore, Rachel Anne
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This study is an exploratory evaluation of a multi-support peer mentoring process for young people with disabilities. Peer mentors, who were 4 young adults with a range of disabilities, made weekly phone calls to 12 young adults with disabilities as part of the Project TEAM intervention. The peer mentors had two primary methods of support: 1) a script with verbatim instructions of what to say, and 2) a supporter, who provided one on one support during the process. In total, there were 82 phone calls between 12 mentor trainee dyads. The audio for these calls was independently coded by 2 raters for the following criteria: mentor achieving objectives, mentor using the script, mentor using the supporter and trainee demonstrating engagement. The frequency of each code was transformed to a percentage to allow for comparisons between mentors. The evaluation found that mentors achieved a high percentage of objectives, that trainees in the program were consistently engaged, and that each peer mentor used supports in a unique way. A chi square found that there is a significant relationship between using supports and achieving objectives. The significance appears to be driven by a larger than expected number of peer mentors who did not meet objectives when not utilizing supports. Overall, the evaluation found that young people a range of disabilities can serve successfully as peer mentors when given support and that young people with disabilities can engage in a phone based mentoring process. This study can help inform future revisions to the peer mentoring program by tailoring the types of supports to each mentors individual preferences.
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